Richie Barker tells FL72 - Preview Portsmouth are back on the rise

Barker: Reckons the future is bright at Fratton Park

Portsmouth manager Richie Barker is adamant the club will return to the upper reaches of the English game.

After FA Cup glory as a Premier League side in 2008, the South Coast club have slumped through the divisions, with financial problems contributing to their plight.

"Everybody knows the club is run in the right way, there's some good people behind the scenes and hopefully the supporters will get what they deserve, which is a club back on the up."

Richie Barker

However, following the Pompey Supporters' Trust's purchase of the club in April 2013, there's renewed hope at Fratton Park.

Boss Barker insists that whilst survival is his side's top priority this term, he fully expects his outfit to be contesting for at least the play-off places next season and is looking forward to overseeing a gradual rise through the Football League.

"There is a way back," he told FL72 - Preview.

"It's not going to be quick, it's going to take time and it needs to be rebuilt right from the bottom, which started in the summer when the new owners came in.

"There's not going to be a quick-fix and actually a quick-fix would probably see us end up in problems again.

"It's something we need to take our time with, make sure the infrastructure is right, make sure it's done right and make sure we don't cause any financial problems and eventually try and get back to where we were before."

Transparency

Barker admits his biggest challenge is transforming the club's mentality but says the current ownership set-up, which involves the Portsmouth fans owning 50% of the club, has given them the platform to move forwards.

"It's about transparency and making sure none of the things that happened before happen again," Barker said of the Pompey Supporters' Trust.

"Everybody knows the club is run in the right way, there's some good people behind the scenes and hopefully the supporters will get what they deserve, which is a club back on the up.

"It's been a tough few years. Over the last four or five years they've lost a lot of games and they've had a lot of relegations so we need to change that around pretty quickly."

Support

Barker also paid credit to the Fratton Park faithful, who have turned up in numbers in excess of 15,000 to support the team during this campaign.

The former Crawley boss says the Pompey fans will be particularly crucial during their final run-in.

Portsmouth are seven points clear of the relegation zone but face a number of the league's high-flyers in their upcoming fixtures.

"Scunthorpe, Chesterfield and Fleetwood away is about as tough as they come," he said.

"So our home record is going to be important and with the 15,000 fans behind us hopefully we can get over the line.

"We went to Oxford and took 2,500 fans with us - they're extremely passionate, they've been fantastic in getting behind us and hopefully they'll see things start to turn.

"In the last ten minutes at the weekend, when we were under the cosh, they were fantastic in making sure we hung on for the win; the support is massive.

"Portsmouth is such a passionate place and getting 15,000 people in a League Two game on a Tuesday night is unbelievable really."